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Glosswitch on Artificial Wombs

(67 Posts)
TheWeeWitch Fri 05-May-17 10:27:01

"In this sense, the arrival of the artificial womb means neither women’s end nor our liberation. It’s just another twist in the story of our exploitation and our resistance. I don’t think the future’s any darker than the present. It’s understanding what is done to us, and by whom, that enables us to see the light."

👏
Thank you Glosswitch.

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/feminism/2017/05/artificial-wombs-are-only-three-years-away-how-scared-should-women-be

DJBaggySmalls Fri 05-May-17 10:38:38

I see the artificial womb as another attempt to control, have power over. It will harm men at least as much as it does women.
The mens movement promotes every person being separate and independent from each other. It seeks to abolish family life and all relationships.
Its not at all ironic that its the claim they make for feminism.

They are a death cult. Its as if Daesh themselves were behind the scenes, provoking mens dissonance and pointing them at their target.

VestalVirgin Fri 05-May-17 11:39:09

The mens movement promotes every person being separate and independent from each other. It seeks to abolish family life and all relationships.

Of course they do. Individually, men are stronger than women. They can much easier oppress women on an one to one basis. Women having friends who help them is not in their best interest.

I fear Glosswitch is exactly right about what men will want from real women once they have sexbots and artificial wombs: To enact their sadism on us.

It will harm men at least as much as it does women.

How?

In the end, men will kill themselves with their patriarchy, as they already do, but I don't see how exactly the artificial womb will contribute.

DJBaggySmalls Fri 05-May-17 12:18:09

Men have put time and effort into eradicating relationships with women with technology. They spend massive amounts of time and effort producing and using porn, and compliant artificial sex dolls.
At the same time they are removing womens access to contraception, abortion, breast screening, the ability to report a rape or DV. They dont want to pay for those things.

Abuse affects the abuser as well as the victim. Patriarchy wont kill itself, it will turn into a fascist dystopia. Its doing it right now, worldwide. When men alienate themselves from relationships, they harm themselves as well as us. That hardening and loss of humanity represents a loss of potential.
Rigid, authoritarian societies dont thrive, they stagnate.

VestalVirgin Fri 05-May-17 14:04:51

That hardening and loss of humanity represents a loss of potential.

Well, one might see it like that. But it is harm in a very abstract sense.The men who do it to themselves sure seem happy with it.

DJBaggySmalls Fri 05-May-17 14:51:01

Its not abstract, this isnt just a New Age philosophical point about karma. If women are abolished and men rear children grown in artificial wombs, they wont be any happier than they are today. Even if they select all male children and they dont have to think about women as anything other than egg machines kept out of the way.
They wont have solved their underlying problems and they will have to find another scapegoat to blame.

SylviaPoe Fri 05-May-17 15:02:37

Given the number of people who don't have access to clean water, sanitation or adequate food, I very much doubt most children globally will be born in an artificial womb.

The rich will harvest eggs from Eastern Europe. Many poor people will be sterilised.

VestalVirgin Fri 05-May-17 15:37:18

If women are abolished and men rear children grown in artificial wombs, they wont be any happier than they are today.

Not happier. But still content. A lack of increase in happiness is much less harm than men inflict on women now, and certainly much less harm than the MRAs intend to inflict on women once they don't need us for reproduction anymore. (Which seems to be the only reason not ALL of them are currently murdering women)

DonkeySkin Fri 05-May-17 16:27:45

This is another searing analysis of misogyny by Glosswitch, but I'm surprised by how eagerly everyone - from misogynists to feminists - has embraced the notion of the inevitability of artificial wombs. Scientists are nowhere near being able to gestate a person from conception to birth, let alone merely three years away.

I could be wrong about this, but I don't think true artificial wombs will happen in the near future, if ever. Scientists are in fact discovering more about the incredibly complex ways that the maternal body interacts with the foetus during pregnancy, from immune system building to exchange at the cellular level (which is why mothers of sons have been found to have fragments of Y chromosomes in their brains). I can't see how this most intimate and animal exchange between two live bodies can be replicated in a machine, but it is typical of the death cult aspect of patriarchy and its millennia-long symbolic degradation of the female body as an empty vessel that everyone seems so willing to believe that it can be.

Journalists have been hyping the artificial womb for decades, and men have been fantasising about it since the birth of modern science. Everyone is just so convinced it will be so easy, because what could be more automaton-like than a pregnant woman? That, to me, is the true reason for the regular hype around 'artificial wombs' - not the imminence of the actual technology, which is as far away as ever. The female body is fixed in Western culture as a piece of mere passive machinery, and has been since the Ancient Greeks replaced their Demeter fertility cults with the patriarch Zeus. I believe it was Aristotle who said that man's seed contained the whole essence of a baby, and women were merely the soil in which it grew.

DonkeySkin Fri 05-May-17 16:40:46

FYI for anyone who wants an overview of where the technology for ectogenesis is at, this Atlantic article is a good one.

Some relevant passages:

Since Liu’s mouse experiments, the medical community has more or less abandoned in-vitro gestation. The past decade saw a renaissance in transplant technology, and advances in the burgeoning field of human prenatal epigenetics have rendered gestation outside a mother’s body a less plausible concept. Scientists are learning more about the interplay between fetal development and the mother’s whole body—not just her uterus.

“The fetus gets an advantage by developing within a maternal body,” says Janet DiPietro, associate dean for research at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. DiPietro oversees the Johns Hopkins Fetal-Development Project, a 20-year endeavor that tracks how physiological aspects of the maternal-fetal bond shape development. DiPietro told me that everything from a mother’s circadian rhythms to her posture sends cues to the growing fetus...

DiPietro explains that in the future, an artificial-uterus transplant is “far, far more likely” than in-vitro gestation, in part because the placenta, which grows from the uterus after implantation, is “one of the most enigmatic organs that we have.” Scientists can’t understand it, let alone construct it from scratch. The complex interplay between the placenta—which grows from the fetus’s own cells—and the mother’s blood flow, immune system, and circulating oxygen has been so poorly researched that Alan Guttmacher, director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, recently called it “the least-understood human organ.”

woman12345 Fri 05-May-17 17:21:09

DonkeySkin I am a complete scientific ignoramus, but it's what I'd suspected. smile thanks for posting.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Fri 05-May-17 18:38:39

I really don't like Glosswitch's writing. Occasionally she has something worthwhile to say but takes forever to get there as her point is drowned in a sea of beautifully constructed sentences.

This is not going to replace women. The whole article is elegant handwringing. It's almost as if she secretly wants it to happen so she can be proved right. The quotes from Barnes and Firestone are equally overblown.

woman12345 Fri 05-May-17 19:51:04

Fact is, a couple of buckets of sperm and there is absolutely no need for the male of the species for the foreseeable. grin. I think that's what really scares a certain type of male.

PoochSmooch Fri 05-May-17 20:05:02

a couple of buckets of sperm

That image makes me feel a bit queasy! confused

good post, donkey.

woman12345 Fri 05-May-17 20:09:47

PoochSmooch grin sorry, I don't know the scientific terms for it.

MrsDustyBusty Fri 05-May-17 20:16:55

I wonder what the psychological effects of this type of gestation might be? I think the people promoting this as a smartly scientific alternative to fallible women would like to be the first to raise a child without any stimulation in utero? It may be a fond fantasy of mine, but it felt like my baby knew me when she was born.

QuentinSummers Fri 05-May-17 20:33:40

donkey that post was amazing! Thank you x

QuentinSummers Fri 05-May-17 20:35:41

Babies do learn their mothers voices in the womb dusty (and the rest of their families). They must also learnt the smell of the mother as they drink the amniotic fluid and smell/taste are closely related.

DJBaggySmalls Fri 05-May-17 21:01:43

We already know that children raised by distant or unloving parents are at a disadvantage, and how complex child development is. We know that damaged childhoods can produce damaged adults.
The men who promote these technologies are oblivious to that and think it irrelevant. People who are not closely involved with child rearing cannot grasp that its not a mechanical rearing process.
People are not a product that you can produce from an assembly line. Well not healthy ones at least.

Batteriesallgone Fri 05-May-17 21:17:41

Donkey totally agree. There is just no way this technology (creating a child outside of the human body) is imminent. It's one thing to replace current incubators for a premature baby with a fluid-filled bag, quite another to attempt to grow a foetus from scratch outside of the body.

The thing that struck me looking at the technology was the hole in the bag through which the cord/placenta-replacement exchange would take place. Meaning that it is only viable for a foetus past the stage of the placenta and cord being grown. So post 12/13 weeks at the very earliest.

I thought it was well known that the first trimester is the most complex stage of pregnancy; hence why morning sickness is often suffered then and resolves later. A system that assumes first trimester has gestated successfully, like this one, is no closer to gestating a baby in full than IVF techniques or current incubators. That bridge between the two - those crucial 20 or so weeks of development that must take place inside the human female body - are not really properly understood nor anywhere near being replicated.

It's almost as if the people who spout on about abolishing women don't want to appreciate the full complexities of pregnancy. Funny that.

TheWeeWitch Fri 05-May-17 23:52:20

Sorry. I'm crap at keeping up with MN discussions sometimes.

Agree @DonkeySkin et al. that this technology is in no way imminent, but I like that GW has written about it.

WhereYouLeftIt Sat 06-May-17 04:46:07

"According to the charmingly titled Men’s Rights Activist blog Boycott Bitches, “the future is pretty dark for women”. This is because: “Once artificial wombs are invented, real human women will become obsolete.”"
Obsolete, they say? Well I will cheerfully wave them off to their men-only island where they can reproduce themselves to their hearts' content.

But - who will tend the freshly-decanted babies, feed them and wipe their arses, talk to them and love them? Who will cook and clean and keep house for these adult masters of the universe?

You're in for a steep learning curve, boys ...

deydododatdodontdeydo Sat 06-May-17 08:59:50

Fact is, a couple of buckets of sperm and there is absolutely no need for the male of the species for the foreseeable

People have been saying this ever since the first test tube baby and it hasn't happened.
The thing I don't buy is: men are trying to develop artificial wombs so that have no need of women. Yet they developed artificial insemination first, rendering themselves obsolete.
Why would they do that?
Tbh I don't think they're trying to eradicate males or females, it's dystopian scaremongering (and maybe wishful thinking by that MRA group).

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 06-May-17 11:19:13

Tbh I don't think they're trying to eradicate males or females, it's dystopian scaremongering (and maybe wishful thinking by that MRA group)

Agreed.

Batteriesallgone Sat 06-May-17 12:07:33

My suspicion is it's got nowt to do with humans, bit like the development of artificial insemination.

Fertility techniques are developed for use in farming 9 times out of 10. The biological knowledge we have of reproduction is basically cow knowledge, tweaked a little for special human characteristics. Ditto lactation.

It's not surprised at all that this technique has been developed with lambs...a food animal. And in America...with their lax farming practices. By peadiatric doctors yes, but I would be very surprised if there wasn't big farming money poured into it somewhere. In fact the human aspect could provide a useful fake news cover, and good PR, for the real story of 'farming practices to become even more inhumane' (if I was being cynical).

Pregnant animals kept in horrendous intensive farming conditions have a high miscarriage rate. This affects herd replacement and milk production. If you could replace even just half the pregnancy with a reliable artificial means you could really throw animal welfare to the wind.

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